Northern Bites Battle Bugs in RoboCup U.S. Open

Armed with brand new robots, Bowdoin’s Northern Bites gave it their best shot at the 2012 RoboCup U.S. Open, held at Sidney J. Watson Arena over the weekend, but a few bugs and some new rules posed challenges for the robot soccer team.

“Turns out, as is often the case with new technology, there were serious bugs in the new robots,” says team advisor Eric Chown, Bowdoin’s Samuel S. Butcher Associate Professor in the Natural Sciences. Meanwhile, the rules have changed such that the goals are the same color on each end.

Northern Bites Blog
For more on the U.S. Open, as well as videos, photos and other information, visit the Northern Bites Blog.

“This is significantly harder than previous years,” says Chown. “We are in the middle of coding a solution, but it isn’t ready. So the team had a huddle on Friday night to jury rig some simple solutions for competition. We didn’t know what to expect.”

The team lost their game Saturday to Penn, 2-0. Despite the loss, Chown was happy with how the team performed. “Our strategy was working pretty well and Penn is a great team. We had some chances to score, but just didn’t cash in. More importantly, our new walk looked fantastic. We walked fast and we were stable. I’d say that we walked the best of all of the teams this weekend.”

The team lost games to the University of Texas and Carnegie Mellon University, and tied Bryn Mawr and Worcester Polytechnic in scoreless games. Texas won the U.S. Open, with CMU, Penn and WPI finishing second, third and fourth, respectively.

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